The Cotswolds is a region of England we are very passionate about. In fact, after walking the glorious Cotswold Way back in 2008, we decided that it was lovely, but there was much more happening in the Cotswolds that this route didn't touch. So, we developed our own routes, The Cotswold Trail and the Cotswold Round, where you can get even more involved in the joys of the Cotswolds.
It is important for us to make sure you have all the information you need before you visit this quaint, historic part of England. Everything you need to know should be on this page, but if you find you are still looking for info, you can contact our Destination Specialists at [email protected] or you can download our free guide to Walking in the Cotswolds to read offline.
6 Essential Planning Tools for Walking in the Cotswolds
Q: When is the best time of year to walk in the Cotswolds?
A: The Cotswolds are sublime at any time between the end of March and beginning of October. Spring is a wonderful time of year to walk in the Cotswolds as the countryside is covered in wildflowers. Spring is also a quieter month for tourism, so you will find the paths and towns a lot less busy.
Q: Will I need a map and compass?
A: There are different paths in the Cotswolds, but none of them require great navigational skills. The Cotswold Way is well waymarked, however the other trips, we have constructed ourselves to showcase the best of the Cotswolds. We will provide comprehensive route notes and Cotswold Maps, but you can also download our app, which has the routes already loaded.
A: Cream teas are the lifeblood of the Cotswolds, with delicate blends of tea, carefully crafted for you, and towering cake stands filled with a variety of creative sweet treats. Some of the best you will encounter on our trips would be The Marshmallow Tearooms in Moreton-on-Marsh, Badger’s Hall in Chipping Campden, Tisanes in Broadway and the Lords of the Manor hotel just outside Bourton-on-the-Water.
Wool - The Cotswolds were manly built on the wool trade and you can still see many examples of mills on your walks. Many of the impressive local buildings were built with money from the wool trade. The local sheep are called the 'Cotswold Lions' and have been brought back from the brink of extinction.
Outstanding Beauty - The Cotswolds is the largest Area of Outstanding Beauty in England, and the second largest protected area after the Lake District. The Cotswolds are rural England at its most stunning, the towns and villages with their warm honey limestone facades adding charm and beauty to the natural wonder that surrounds them.
Unique Local Customs - There are a lot of very interesting local customs, which you can participate in should you be visiting the area at that time of year. There is an annual cheese rolling at Coopers Hill, Birdlip, where contestants roll wheels of Double Gloucester cheese down a hill. There also a football game in Bourton on Water where the goalposts are either side of a river! These are only the tip of the iceberg too.
Limestone - The Limestone is what gives the Cotswolds villages and churches their honey-coloured glow. The drystone walls built in the Cotswolds are everywhere and you will walk alongside many on your travels. If you laid them end to end they would stretch further than the Great Wall of China.
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